Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference - Day Four

Recently we just finished hosting our first Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference in partnership with STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia. We both believe that businesses, unions, government, academia and NGOs really need to work together. Only together can we end this crime and change the lives of many people. It’s a shared responsibility and it takes multi-sector collaboration. Today, we conclude our series hearing from our dear friend, Lisa Cheong, as she recalls her experience at the conference.

DAY 4 - ARAT CONFERENCE

The final day at the ARAT Conference focused on looking at solutions!

Breakout groups in the morning were split up based on solution topics, such as legal and investigation, advocacy, prevention, freedom business, aftercare and research.

I had the pleasure of working with Matthew Fairfax, the founder of the freedom business Kate Korpi Salon in Cambodia, to facilitate the solutions breakout session on Social Enterprises & Freedom Businesses. Attendees had the opportunity to debrief on their strategy, roles, understanding goals, outcomes and also the assumptions they made in their own freedom businesses. The purpose was to look at what assumptions we are making that can limit our approach to business management and proposed solutions.

The entire conference then reconvened again to hear summaries and key learnings from each breakout session. This format enabled all the participants to continue to learn about issues/solutions even if they were not at those breakout groups.

The final activity on Day 4 was a further drill down exercise attendees were asked to form groups based on the countries they were working in and representing. After multiple breakout sessions on issues and solutions, there was definitely a need to see connections made with grassroots practitioners within the countries that they are working in, and ensure that the connections we are making at ARAT continued when we all returned home!

All in all, it has been one of the most encouraging conferences I have been to. Lots of practical learning opportunities about the issues, deep understanding of the importance of collaboration and partnerships and some tangible takeaways. It has been a time where new ideas or new seeds have been planted and the opportunity to develop new pathways for collaboration.

Thank you, Chab Dai and STOP THE TRAFFIK, for showing us the power of collaboration when multiple sectors join together in a space for learning and networking!

Written by 

Lisa J Cheong, Managing Director of Indradevi Consulting Group (ICG) - Cambodia

At ICG, we seek to create a future that awakens passion, ignites purpose and unleashes the unique potential of Khmer women and girls in all spheres of society through a collaborative process. As a women’s training development company, we provide holistic, customized and contextualized value-based training solutions focused on engaging, equipping and empowering women and girls with the tools and skills needed to enhance their personal and professional development.

 

Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference - Day Three

Recently we just finished hosting our first Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference in partnership with STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia. We both believe that businesses, unions, government, academia and NGOs really need to work together. Only together can we end this crime and change the lives of many people. It’s a shared responsibility and it takes multi-sector collaboration. Today, we continue to hear from our dear friend, Lisa Cheong, as she recalls her experience at the conference.

DAY 3 - ARAT CONFERENCE

Momentum continued building on Day 3 of ARAT as we moved from a broad regional perspective to drill deeper on specific issues.

In the morning session, Carolyn Kitto and Fuzz Kitto, presented on ''Shared Responsibility'' and emphasized the need to see beyond the problem to find solutions. They also quoted from a book called ''Collaborating with the Enemy'' by Adam Kahane on how to work with people we don’t agree with, like or trust. Talk about stretching one’s perspective and moving out of comfort zones!

This set the tone for the rest of the day as we moved into ''speed networking'' – a time for connecting with others in the room that we have not met before. It’s been such a blessing to share and hear from others that we normally do not come across. Another wonderful way to build a learning community that is beyond our borders!

The rest of the morning was spent on “Framing the Issues”, a brainstorming exercise involving our collective experiences on various issues ranging from sex trafficking, forced marriage, labor trafficking, migration and refugees, and domestic work. This laid the groundwork for afternoon, as there were corresponding breakout sessions for each of these topics as a time to learn from experts and from other practitioners. Each breakout session focused on drawing out the the issues, gaps and overlaps in services, trafficking patterns and routes of victims, and intervention strategies. This was all mapped out by everyone on a physical map as a visual and collective exercise.

I love the fact that these learning opportunities today have challenged us all to think outside of the box – we have to, particularly in the process of collaborating with “the enemy” to achieve the same goal of ending human trafficking. Entertaining new types or forms of collaboration (while a stretch) is ultimately a powerful practice if we can move pass our egos and agendas. Our network solution will have the greatest impact.

ARAT proved to be an amazing opportunity to cultivate new friendships and encourage each other to keep running the race that has been set before us.

Written by 

Lisa J Cheong, Managing Director of Indradevi Consulting Group (ICG) - Cambodia

At ICG, we seek to create a future that awakens passion, ignites purpose and unleashes the unique potential of Khmer women and girls in all spheres of society through a collaborative process. As a women’s training development company, we provide holistic, customized and contextualized value-based training solutions focused on engaging, equipping and empowering women and girls with the tools and skills needed to enhance their personal and professional development.

Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference - Day Two

Recently we just finished hosting our first Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference in partnership with STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia. We both believe that businesses, unions, government, academia and NGOs really need to work together. Only together can we end this crime and change the lives of many people. It’s a shared responsibility and it takes multi-sector collaboration. Today we continue to hear from our dear friend, Lisa Cheong, as she recalls her experience at the conference.

DAY 2 - ARAT CONFERENCE

Day 2 was our first full day of learning at the ARAT conference. We were hearing from four different plenaries on big picture updates and on how to we can all work more innovatively.

Helen starting us off with an overview of the Partnership Roadmap – an evaluation of how to identify the best partnership solution. This was a great reminder that partnerships are not fixed, but dynamic.

At a grass roots level, we had the opportunity to hear from how a medical doctor, a lawyer and a labor rights organization were working together to tackle forced labor in the fishing industry. We then witnessed a powerful example about how an NGO and a global leading seafood business can work together to clean up its supply chain but also using digital traceability to give fishermen voices while they are out at sea. Technology continues to be an innovative solution to addressing some of the challenges that fishermen face as they work for an extended period of time at sea.

One of the most interesting discussions was how NGOs and the finance sector are disrupting traffickers through AML (an Anti-Money Laundering system) that tracks financial transactions of perpetrators. Not your typical partnership, but a great example of what is possible when unlikely partnerships join together!

In the afternoon, we saw more examples of collaboration with the CEO of Hagar and Justice & Soul Foundation, discussing the importance of why trauma recovery and sustainable employment need to go hand in hand.

Today was a full day and for me personally, I love seeing this shift towards bringing the private sector into the dialogue. This has not been the case for too long, and there needs to be a greater awakening that businesses also need to be part of the anti-trafficking conversation.

As Helen Sworn said on the onset: "We are addressing a networked problem which needs a networked solution. This means we need strategic and international partnerships!" Multi-sector collaboration is key to closing the loop as each sector brings their core competencies to the table alongside other partners!

Written by 

Lisa J Cheong, Managing Director of Indradevi Consulting Group (ICG) - Cambodia

At ICG, we seek to create a future that awakens passion, ignites purpose and unleashes the unique potential of Khmer women and girls in all spheres of society through a collaborative process. As a women’s training development company, we provide holistic, customized and contextualized value-based training solutions focused on engaging, equipping and empowering women and girls with the tools and skills needed to enhance their personal and professional development.

 

Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference - Day One

Recently we just finished hosting our first Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference in partnership with STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia. We both believe that businesses, unions, government, academia and NGOs really need to work together. Only together can we end this crime and change the lives of many people. It’s a shared responsibility and it takes multi-sector collaboration. Over the next few days we will hear from our dear friend, Lisa Cheong, as she recalls her experience at the conference.

Day 1 -  ARAT Conference

It was such an encouraging first day at the opening session of the Asian Region Anti-Trafficking (ARAT) Conference. The evening began with Helen Sworn (Chab Dai), along with Fuzz and Carolyn Kitto (Stop The Traffik Australia) sharing about their vision for this conference.

There were representatives from 19 different nations and participants coming from various sectors: civil society, NGO, faith-based and non-faith based organizations, human rights groups, international organizations, embassies, academics, legal practitioners, financial regulators, and donors. What a recognition that no one sector can solve the issue of human trafficking, but each sector has a role to play!

We were given an excellent overview of the big picture across sectors and the region with three different speakers: Ms Octavia Borthwick from Australian Embassy in Bangkok, Kaori Kawarabayashi, the Regional Project Manager at UN-ACT Bangkok and Dr. Shantanu Dutta the Director of Public Sector Engagement from IJM India. 

I love the fact that the structure of this conference is to create a learning community and to promote partnerships by challenging us all to move outside our boundaries and consider different perspectives. While I work in Cambodia, tonight I had the opportunity to learn about some of the trafficking issues in India through an IJM representative. I also felt overwhelmed listening to the complexities of the legal frameworks in that country and the sheer challenges faced by those who seek to bring justice to many who are oppressed.

In many ways, the presence of all of the participants at this conference serve to remind us that we are all in this together. We stand in solidarity when we listen to their journeys, share from our own experiences and join together to find collective solutions to deal with the realities of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Written by 

Lisa J Cheong, Managing Director of Indradevi Consulting Group (ICG) - Cambodia

At ICG, we seek to create a future that awakens passion, ignites purpose and unleashes the unique potential of Khmer women and girls in all spheres of society through a collaborative process. As a women’s training development company, we provide holistic, customized and contexualized value-based training solutions focused on engaging, equipping and empowering women and girls with the tools and skills needed to enhance their personal and professional development.

 

 

10K for 10 years

10K for 10 years

Ten years ago, I was working for a small child protection consulting company in Canada, writing policy and (slowly) learning how to apply all my theoretical undergraduate knowledge to the real world. I was also learning how to be married to my husband of 3 months, and we were excitedly saving and planning to leave the next year for our first overseas placement. Where and doing what we were unsure, we just knew we wanted to go!

Siobhan Miles Memorial Library & Resource Center

Siobhan Miles Memorial Library & Resource Center

Recently we dedicated our Chab Dai Library and Resource Centre to Siobhan Miles.

 

This dedication honors her commitment, perseverance and legacy of the Butterfly research and the voices of survivors who, through this research, are able to have their experiences, hopes, fears and opinions shared not only in Cambodia but around the world, to further the understanding of those working with them and advocating for them and create a better future for others at risk and exploited. Helen and the Butterfly team both wrote a few words regarding Siobhans life in Cambodia:

New Trends and Observations in Cambodian Trafficking Cases

New Trends and Observations in Cambodian Trafficking Cases

Human trafficking is a constantly changing and evolving organized criminal activity. It is therefore extremely difficult for practitioners and government agencies to stay updated on new methods and networks from traffickers. This often leaves us steps behind. It is imperative that those working in the anti-trafficking field not only track these trends and changes, but also share our knowledge, observations, and case developments with relevant stakeholders. It is through this pro-active collaboration that we can alleviate this crime and protect more victims from being trafficked.

When well-educated students are trafficked to a Chinese University

When well-educated students are trafficked to a Chinese University

Human Trafficking is a worldwide crime that particularly is being carried out in South East Asia. With different push factors, Cambodia is one of the main transit countries in South-East Asia. Women, men and children are trafficked and tricked into slavery every day to perform inhumane work in various industries such as fishing, prostitution, forced marriage and factory labor. Human trafficking is a well-organized crime that develops like every other crime or field. The image of human trafficking changes and we often identify new trends or areas. We all need to keep up with this ongoing development if we want to fight human trafficking.

Chab Dai Prelude - Part 3: 2005-2007

Chab Dai Prelude - Part 3: 2005-2007

Chab Dai took its first steps as an organisation in 2005, when the coalition’s first staff came on board.  Helen recounted Chab Dai’s first hires, including Chab Dai’s current National Director Ros Yeng: “I had sent out a number of ads for someone to apply for the position of national coordinator, because from the beginning I had a five-year plan to hand over leadership...